La Calera Furnaces

Apart from an industry, whose origin is far back, these limestone formations have given rise to the creation of caves with stalactites, stalagmites and many mysteries to be solved. Throughout history these deposits have been exploited intermittently according to the demand and the price of the minerals extracted in the surroundings of La Calera.

Not only local, there are also others… mainly marbles, the most abundant being black. This valuable mineral was exploited until the 18th century by the Hieronymite community of the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe. Almost all the marble in the Virgin’s dressing room is of alien origin, especially in the arch of black stones that give access to this magnificent room.

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Returning to this curious environment, we see that the most numerous group of ovens is located in the so-called era de los madroñales, a few steps from the village, on the way to the dovecote. There are 5 ovens in total: two are in poor condition, two are only slightly deteriorated and one is practically intact.

The quarry is nearby, on the right side as you come in from the Navaconcejo road. In the well-known Regajales there are two others, known as the ovens of the Careruela: one in poor condition and the other somewhat deteriorated. the whole industry is very artisanal and has probably been going on in the same way for hundreds of years.

The firewood was placed, preferably oak and heather vines, and the lime stone was placed on top in the form of a vault until the oven was full. then it was ignited, it had to be burning for 3 days, then the stone cooled down and became quicklime. the mineral obtained is extremely dangerous, in contact with water it is capable of making even the bones disappear, it burns until it disintegrates everything it contains and once it cools down we call it dead lime and then it is harmless.

They were very useful products for construction: to make cements or to paint house facades, also as a disinfectant for houses or stables, even for wells that were cured by introducing quicklime.

These limestone rock outcrops are related to those found in the Ibor Valley. They were formed about 600 million years ago. In the geopark, limestones appear in a very scattered and concentrated form in pockets that come to the surface in very special places from the geological point of view.

In the hamlet of La Calera we can find the interpretation center of the ovens. this center has a large space in which a number of panels and other audiovisual elements are distributed.